These are crazy times we are living in, that is for sure. Amongst all of the hectic events we are experiencing as we head into 2020, we all need to make it a priority to anchor and ground ourselves, nurture and care for ourselves, so that we can in turn be kind and of service to others.
In order to achieve this we need to make it a habit to take the time to check in with ourselves daily. Introducing small rituals into your day can be an important way to check in with yourself and then head back into your day feeling refreshed.
We don’t have to do anything extravagant, just turning small everyday rituals into intentional spaces in our day to nourish ourselves can make life feel more spacious and joyful. The better we look after ourselves, the more available we are for our various responsibilities and those who need us.
When we are not here in the present moment and instead rushing ahead mentally to the next thing on our to do list, this causes a cascade of adrenaline and cortisol to flood through our body which initially picks us up and gives us energy, but the double edged sword of this pick up is that it leaves us feeling anxious and wired. The last thing your body needs when you are in this heightened state is caffeine and refined sugar – these things just further exacerbate the adrenaline and cortisol spike. We can reduce this ‘fight or flight’ stress response and switch over to a calm nervous system by incorporating small pockets in our day where we intentionally slow down and reconnect with ourselves and the present moment.
One of our favourite rituals for slowing down and reducing stress and anxiety is of course hot chocolate!
The beautiful thing about high quality, raw cacao based hot chocolate is it not only is delicious but it is also a good source of magnesium which is relaxing and calming for the nervous system. Magnesium is a tonic for the nervous system, helping to calm and reduce muscle tension.
A simple ritual to help centre and calm is to make your favourite cup of hot chocolate. We like to make our hot chocolate the slow way on the stove top. Put your milk of choice and hot chocolate powder of choice in your saucepan, turn the stove top on, and start to gently stir. Notice the patterns that the hot chocolate makes in the milk as it starts to dissolve, notice how it smells as the milk starts to warm, essentially, be.here.now.
Once your hot chocolate has been brewed and poured, sit quietly for five minutes while you drink it. Engage all of your senses: how does the hot chocolate taste? What does it smell like? What does it look like? How does the cup feel in your hands? Incorporating some deep belly breaths after you have finished your drink before you get back into your day is an extra nourishing way to complete your ritual.
We hope this inspires you to make the everyday mundane moments more special simply by paying attention and slowing down, which can help to turn them into a beautiful self care ritual.
Happy hot chocolate drinking.